Without starting this blog post of with a super long intro, I will give the short of what it is about – blogging mistakes. When I first started blogging, I made a ton of mistakes. So many, in fact, that I closed my first blog and started again! And because I work with many new bloggers, I can see the same mistakes I made in their blog strategy. That’s why wrote this post – to help bloggers learn from the mistakes I (and many others) have made.
14 Blogging mistakes you are making – and how to fix them
P.S. This is a long post, so grab your favourite cuppa and get settled in before you take on this beast!
1. Your blog posts are not titled correctly
Many bloggers don’t understand the importance of writing blog post titles. For some, it is more important to be funny or witty, rather than letting your readers know exactly what the blog post is about. There is nothing that frustrates me more than clicking on a blog post title and then landing on a completely unrelated blog post! When it comes to writing blog posts, always make sure that your blog post title is catchy, but tells the readers exactly what they can expect.
Bad blog post title: A few ways you can rock your blog
Good blog post title: 10 Expert ways you can optimise your blog for SEO right now
Try to be as informative as possible in your blog post titles. You can add a bit of your own flair and creativity, but remember to always include your SEO keyword (as close to the beginning of the sentence as possible). Your blog post title should also create a sense of urgency, as well as be useful to the reader (remember, I click on your blog post to find an answer. If I don’t get the answer I am looking for, I will not return to your blog).
2. Your images are not titled correctly
I can write chapters about the importance of naming your images correctly, but the gist of it will be this: search engines cannot “read” what your image is about, and therefore, you should tell them exactly what is happening on your image. To make it easier for Google, give your images descriptive names. Before you even upload your images to your blog, decide on a keyword rich description for your image. Most cameras default all of the image names to something like IMG2435.jpg. That name means nothing to your readers and it means absolutely ZERO to search engines. The first step is then to change these names to keyword rich names. If your post is a review of the LA Girl Flat Finish Pigment Gloss, you would ideally want to name your images in your post something like la-girl-flat-finish-pigment-gloss-review.png and la-girl-matte-lipstick.jpg. These new image names are now optimised for SEO so when Google crawls through your content, it will crawl your image name and ranks your post in Google accordingly. Always remember to use hyphens in your image names. Search engines can’t really separate characters, so everything appears as a string to them. The hyphen (-) acts as a space, therefore creating a sense of sentence structure to your image name.
READ MORE: How to optimise your blog images for SEO
3. You’re have not identified your target audience
When you are writing a blog post, the idea is that you should be as helpful to your reader as possible. It’s all about solving a problem and providing a need. But, you can only provide help to a reader if you know what their problems are. For example, mommy bloggers understand the struggles of most moms out there and they write a blog to help other mothers – i.e. they know exactly who their target audience is. When you have your target audience narrowed down, it will be much easier to identify which products or services you can market to that specific audience. Your blog or biz have a better chance of surviving if you know exactly who you are writing for and who you are marketing your products and services to.
READ MORE: How to identify your blog’s target audience
4. You are not optimising your blog posts for SEO
I often chat to bloggers and biz owners complaining that they are struggling to grow their blogs and when I ask them if their blog posts are optimised for SEO, I either get a puzzled look, or they tell me that SEO is too difficult to figure out and that’s why they don’t focus on it. Whether SEO is difficult or not (it’s not, by the way), I cannot tell you enough just how important it is for your blog and your business. When people are looking for answers, they often turn to Google first. If you are providing a service or have a great blog post that answers that question, then you would want that to appear on the first page of Google, right? You want people to read your blog post, use your service and buy your product, right? Then why are you willing to risk so much by not optimising your content for SEO? I have several blog posts about SEO. If you are interested in learning more about optimising your blog for SEO, click on any of the links below.
5. You are too scared to take risks
In business, it is often about taking the risks that will set you apart from others. We are so scared of taking risks that we don’t even consider how beneficial these risks might be for our businesses. When we don’t take risks, we could lose out on some exciting opportunities. Taking risks are also great for learning. For example, friend X started a business with friend Y, and soon after, the business relationship turned sour and they lost everything. If it wasn’t for the initial risk of going into business with a buddy, friend Y would never have learnt the important mistakes made in this venture, and would never know how to apply it to the (now extremely successful) next venture. Taking risks often lead to success. Success doesn’t just happen overnight, and it will definitely not just fall into your lap, so taking those risks might just be worth it to turn your blog into a biz or your biz into a million $ money-making machine.
6. You are comparing yourself to others
Person X is doing XYZ and I am also doing XYZ, in fact, I am doing more of XYZ and still person X is doing better than I am. What am I doing wrong? I am such a failure. I am such a loser. I guess person X is just better at this whole thing than I am. I should just give up. Nothing good ever happens to me anyway. I am doomed to fail. Sounds familiar? Instead of comparing your success to the success of others around you, why don’t you use the others around you as motivation and inspiration to sour to success? Don’t copy them, and don’t compare yourself to them, but rather take this opportunity to learn from them!
[Tweet “I’m guilty of #6. Which one of these blogging mistakes are you guilty of? “]
7. You think that blogging is easy
Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha. HAHAHAHAHAHA! If I had a $ for every time I heard someone say they are going to start a blog because everyone is doing it and it must be so easy, I would be richer than Bill Gates! Blogging is not easy! Most bloggers write 3 – 5 blog posts every single week. Now, if that is a good quality blog post, it would take them roughly 2 – 4 hours to do the research, write and edit that blog post. Add an extra hour for taking images. Add another 30 mins – 1 hour for designing graphics, and add at least another hour for uploading and sharing to social media. That is a whopping total of (minimum) 13 and a half hours EVERY SINGLE WEEK to “just write a blog post”. Now, if you take into account that most bloggers still have a full-time 9-5 and only 24 hours in a day, taking 13 hours out of your week to “just blog” is quite the challenge. It takes time, it takes effort, it takes motivation, it takes passion, it takes love, it takes work and it is challenging. Blogging, dear friends, is not easy!
8. You think that blogging is an easy way to make money
If you are into blogging because you think it’s an easy way to make a quick $ or two, then move along swiftly. Like I said in point 7, blogging is not easy. It takes hard work. It takes time. It takes money to make money. Yes, we make it look “easy”, but it is bloody hard! Most bloggers out there work their a$$es off every week and don’t even see a cent come in! If you consider the 13+ hours it takes to keep our blogs up and running, and include the extra hours we spend creating products and services we can sell, marketing those products and services, etc, you could look at an extra 30 hours per week! Move along Bar-One, this is a job for Tequila!
9. Your blog posts are too short (or way too long)
Stop writing blog posts that are only a few words long. Also, stop writing blog posts that could have easily been an ebook (that you could sell for more $$). Focus on writing blog posts that are easy to read, won’t bore the reader and will still make an impression. My advice is to write between 800 and 3000 words per blog post. More than that, and you might as well be writing a book. The issue with super long content is that most readers use mobile for search. This means that many users don’t have tons of time to read through a lot of content to find the info they are looking for. If you are writing a tutorial, how to guide or explaining how to do something, then a 3000 word blog post isn’t unreasonable. But if you are simply writing about a new product launch, or giving quick feedback on a certain topic, then a 800 word blog post should be enough. It’s up to you to decide how long or how short your blog post should be, but remember to keep your audience in mind.
10. Your blog posts are difficult to read
When I find a blog post that is not easy to read, I simply click off the page within reading the first two sentences. Why? Because I know it will take me an extra few hours to find out exactly what blog post A said. Try to make your blog posts as easy to read as possible. It is safe to assume that your readers won’t necessarily understand the technical jargon you have a great understanding of, so try to use words that are easy to understand. Layout is also an important factor to consider. Keep your sentences and paragraphs short. Use headings and bullet points. Make lists. Make your reader’s life easy!
11. Your blog posts are not being helpful
Ah, another big one. People often use the internet to learn, to find answers to questions and solutions to problems. Therefore, your content should be informative and helpful! Even if you are a food blogger, your recipes are providing a solution to a problem. Be as informative and helpful as possible when writing a blog post. If you answer the reader’s questions, they might look for more answers on your blog, increasing your page views and time on site. Yay!
12. You are not proofreading your blog posts
Before you publish a blog post, please just take a minute or two to read over and check for any spelling or grammar errors. These silly little errors could make you look unprofessional and could make readers not trust the information you are sharing. If you are not good at picking up your own mistakes, give it to a friend or family to read over or perhaps pay a copy editor to take a look for you.
13. You are not on social media
I feel like just about everyone should be all over social media right now, but I still get several bloggers coming to me asking for help on how to set up their social media. Hey, at least they are finally on the bandwagon, right? If you are not on social media then you are missing out on a lot of traffic! Most of my social media traffic comes from Twitter and I can see a huge dip in my stats if I don’t tweet often enough. Besides, how are people going to find your awesome blog post, if you don’t share it with them? If you feel like social media might be a bit too overwhelming, pick two platforms where your audience hangs out and focus on building and growing those platforms. You will be surprised when you see the change in traffic simply by being on social media.
Not sure what to share on social media, read this post: 30 Days of Social Media Content (FREE Social Media Calendar)
14. You are not asking for help
Never be afraid to ask for help! We are often too shy and too scared to ask for help and that causes us to lose out on many awesome things for our blog or business. My favourite way to ask for help is within Facebook groups. There are tons of awesome bloggers, with way more experience than me, in these groups and they are wonderful when I need help! No question is a stupid question and they always give the best advice. I learn a lot from the wonderful people in these groups. And I also get a lot of content ideas myself. Another great thing about being part of Facebook groups is that quite often they have fun prompts where you can share your content – which is great for driving traffic to my blog, gaining email subscribers and more. If you are not on Facebook, simply pop a blogger friend an email to ask for help. We are not scary, mean humans. We had to begin somewhere and we are always more than happy to assist!
What struggles do you currently have with your blog or biz? Leave me a comment in the comment section below, or send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I will get back to you. Promise. P.S. Also let me know if you have made any of these mistakes and what you did to fix it. I love to hear from you.
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Hi, I’m Imka Webb and I am the owner of Imka Webb Digital Marketing. I live in sunny South Africa with my husband and our beautiful daughter. When I am not helping businesses grow their online presence, I am reading or trying something new in the kitchen. I make a killer meatball and my cupcakes are to die for!